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Old Jail Lane/Hathaways Pond

The Old Jail Lane trails are primarily double-track over rolling hills. There are a few fast downhills and a few challenging climbs. Riding these trails is a lot of fun. They seem remote as you wind your way through deep woods, the only sound being some traffic noise from nearby Route 6. This trail network also includes the 3-mile Cape Cod Community College “Forest Loop” (2 MB) around the campus and loops around Hathaway’s Pond.

West Barnstable Conservation Area

The West Barnstable Conservation Area is one of Cape Cod’s treasures and prime riding areas. The West Barnstable Conservation Area is a 1,200-acre parcel of conservation land in the village of West Barnstable. The main recreation focus is multi-use and revolves around mountain biking, hiking, trail running and cross-country skiing. The West Barnstable Conservation Area is very atypical of Cape Cod vegetation; American beech, red oak, sassafras, white pine, and American holly make up most of the tree canopy. The understory consists of sweetfern, bayberry, greenbriar, spirea, and low bush blueberry, to name a few. There are approximately 21 miles of singletrack that wind throughout the trail. The majority of singletrack is short and steep with some very twisted sections. Though the trails are not very technical, they’re full of short steep climbs, which make for a great aerobic roller coaster ride.

Willow Street

One of the best riding locations on the Cape and also one of the least known. It’s at exit 7 on the Route 6 and is commonly referred to as Willow Street. Willow Street actually comprises two separate riding areas. Both are located near the same exit and can be linked together to form about 35 miles of riding. On the first, explore over 20 miles of enjoyable sometimes hilly singletracks located in the Hyannis Ponds Wildlife Management Area. For your second adventure, you’ll be in Yarmouth, where you can discover over fifteen miles of trails.


Four Ponds

Four Ponds is well marked. You’ll find it hard to get off the track if you follow the trail markers for any of the mapped trails. One of the most enjoyable trails is Four Pond’s Pine Trail, a smooth never straight singletrack snaking through the woods. It never goes long without going around a tree, a rock or up or down some small hill. It’s only a few miles long but you’ll be disappointed when it’s over. Four Ponds may never attract hard-core bikers. It’s not that kind of a place. But for a relaxed ride where you’ll get a chance to explore some wonderful trails immersed in nature, give Four Ponds a try. The ponds themselves are beautiful. Stop for a bit and you’ll observe turtles, frogs, swans, ducks and many other types of birds. Cautions: You will encounter a lot of people and dogs especially near the parking area.


Nickerson State Park

Located in the middle of Cape Cod just about where the peninsula begins to dog-leg north, Nickerson’s 1,900 acres host about 400 campsites, and eight ponds. There is an 8-mile paved bicycle path in Nickerson that is great for kids and gives one a brief introduction to the park. The bike path also connects to the 22-mile long Cape Cod Rail Trail. But the singletracks are the trail’s big draw. They abound in and around Nickerson. Highlighting the trails are the many scenic views afforded of the park’s lakes. The most notable feature of them, to someone who normally rides off the Cape anyway, is the almost total lack of stones and rocks. The trails here define the word “buffed.”


Beebe Woods

Beebe Woods and Peterson Farm are two Falmouth conservation properties that abut each other. The trails are very pleasant to explore, especially from the seat of a mountain bike. The trails are fun, mostly non-technical and circle around quite a bit. It will take you at least a couple of hours to explore them all. There’s quite a bit to see. Active farmland, including sheep pastures, remnants of old abandoned buildings, many glacial erratics, some very unusual plants and you’ll probably meet a lot of people out on the trails. The two properties together comprise 488 acres. Located just west of Falmouth Center, it’s just a short ride from downtown as well as being only a few hundred yards from the Shining Sea Bikeway.


The riding in the Bourne/Falmouth area is usually referred to as riding at Otis. The riding area abuts the Otis Air Force Base, which is now officially closed to anyone except official personnel. Most people don’t realize that they are actually riding on Town of Falmouth Conservation Land and The Frances Crane Wildlife Management Area, which is not part of the base. Unfortunately, there is really no physical delineation between these areas. Most people ride Otis without ever crossing into base land or seeing military police. But, if you happen to be crossing a paved road and encounter a base official, they will ask you to leave, or perhaps escort you out. The riding at “Otis” mostly consists of fast singletrack that runs up, down and around a long series of drumlins that head north paralleling route 28 heading north. There are some very technical trails and some very long hills. Expect to spend a lot of time exploring.


Mashpee River Woodlands

Mashpee Woodlands is a little know gem. Most of the Woodlands trails are singletracks. The most scenic wind through the woods on ground that’s high above the Mashpee River. The views are spectacular. The trails twist through the trees climbing and descending short hills. They are very pleasant to ride, the only downside being that there are too few of them. In all, there are about 4 miles of trails here. The solution – ride them in both directions. These scenic trails look entirely different in the opposite direction. The Map link above is borrowed from the Trustees of Reservations. This TTOR property in Mashpee is currently closed to bikes. However, all of the Town of Mashpee land welcomes mountain bikers. Indeed, local bikers do most of the trail clearing and trash pickup. Cape Cod NEMBA is working on a map of it’s own that will clear up this confusion.


Maple Swamp

The Maple Swamp conservation lands consist of 500 acres of upland property that are composed of 25 different parcels. Maple Swamp’s vast 500-acre property also has some of the most diverse topography on Cape Cod. Reaching from 40 feet above sea level to 250 feet above sea level, Maple Swamp has spectacular views north across Cape Cod Bay to Provincetown and south to Vineyard Sound. Vegetation on the property includes oaks, pines, holly, hickory, and maple trees.

  • Mountain bikers must remain on the designated mountain bike trails and mountain biking is prohibited on Jacob’s Ladder Trail, Ridgeway Trail and West South Hill Trail.


The Badlands

The Badlands are located in Yarmouth Port, just north of Route 6 off Exit 8. They consist of a vast network of trails on both private and public lands that go on for miles. The Badlands’ trails actually connect to trails leading all the way back to Maple Swamp at exit 4 (that’s about 30 miles). The riding at the Badlands ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous. Many of the singletracks are smooth and flowy, completely lacking in rocks or roots as they glide up, down and around some very gentile hills. On the other extreme is the Badland Trail. Although the whole area is referred to by locals as The Badlands, the Badland Trail itself is a deviously constructed singletrack that winds itself over and around every defilement, rock, crevice and drop that could be found at a long-abandoned sandpit. You’ll know when you’re on it because it will be unlike anything else you’ve ever ridden. Fortunately, the Badland Trail is an exception. Most of the area’s trails are quite suitable for all levels of riders though some are quite hilly. A quick look at the map will show you that the trail network is quite convoluted. More than one day of exploring will be required to find out where they all go.

Camp Greenough

Greenough, comprising about 20 miles of fun riding, is one of the three riding areas that make up the Willow Street complex of trails. The name derives from Camp Greenough, a Boy Scout camp where many of the trails are located. But Greenough’s trails extend well beyond that, reaching the ocean at Grays Beach to the north, the Badlands (Exit 8) to the west and the extensive Willow Street trails to the south of the highway. The trails in the Scout camp are really fun, fast-flowing singletracks, moderately hilly with a few technical climbs and descents. The perimeter trails, (see map) are open all year to the general public for biking and hiking, but the trails in the center of the camp should be avoided when the Scouts are camping (generally during summer months). To the north of the railroad tracks there’s a route to the aforementioned Grays Beach. This is a fun ride, which goes right through the parking lot for the Yarmouthport Village Store, where you can stop for refreshments. There are two sections of trail on the map that are closed to bikes, Miller Pond and Camp Wingate. These trails are open to foot traffic and are included on the map.

Higgins Crowell

Higgins Crowell is one of the three major riding areas that make up the Willow Street complex of trails. Of the three, Higgins Crowell is the mellowest. Lots of flat singletracks flowing through the woods interspersed with an occasional jeep road. Some of the trails circumnavigate cranberry bogs while others delve so deeply into the woods that all traffic noise disappears and all you’ll hear are birdcalls or the occasional passing airplane. There are few sandy areas, few technical obstacles and almost no hills. This makes Higgins Crowell the perfect place for a relaxing ride, a ride with newer riders or a ride with kids on small wheel bikes. But don’t get the wrong impression. These trails are not boring. They’re just flat. The singletracks running through the woods are some of the most enjoyable on the Cape.